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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 5, Mr. Thompson 4, San Francisco 3, Bob Thompson 2, The City 1, Lee 1, Sec 1, Unregulated 1, Mr. St. Croix 1, Mr. Pillpa 1, Subsection 1, Studley 1, David Pillpa 1, Ammiano 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    December 2, 2012
    8:00 - 8:30pm PST  

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and once again, a great deal of thanks to the public, the task force, and a great deal of thanks to the staff for handling this. it's been a difficult process. i know firsthand how much work you all have put into it. you can tell how long it's been when your constantly having to remind us what we had talked about and decided at previous meetings, which i am sure is frustrating for you, but appreciated by us. so thank you for your hard work. the next item on the agenda is discussion and possible action regarding amendments to cfro. first let me check with the commissioners, are we okay going forward? does anybody need a short break? >> fine. >> fine.
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>> mr. st. croix would you like to introduce this agenda item? >> so during the summer days of the mayoral campaign, the most recent mayoral campaign, we had issues that presented themselves to us that were new to san francisco in that there were campaign -- let me take that word back. there were committees organized to draft ed lee to run for mayor. he was at the time considered to be a caretaker who was to fill the vacancy until the next election could be held. there were at least three sump committees, i think maybe four and some of them raised good sums of money. and my concern was that they
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were functioning as campaigns without actually being campaigns. the commission decided that they weren't campaigns under current law. but i think the commission agreed that the raising and spending of that size of money was not designed by the voters to be something that went unregulated. so the commission directed the staff to put together some provisions that would, as i said, regulate committed are designed to draft, particularly those that raise tangible sums of money. the reason for that is that a citywide campaign aimed at a single person still reaches people citywide, and would conceivably impact their decisions at the polling place
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based on the fact that you get someone to run for office by extolling their virtues. so these rectally simple to follow will treat under our law, such campaigns, such committees, excuse me, as primarily formed campaigns and therefore, report their activities to the voters. >> they are divided into two diction points. does the commissioners have any
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questions with regards to decision point 1? i have a question and it has to do with our definition of "support." i have some concern that it's maybe a little too restrictive, because i could imagine someone simply spending money to advocate that someone be elected without "encouraging or urging them to declare." i mean certainly in the run ed run instance there was that case they were trying to encourage him to declare. what if it had just been elect ed lee for mayor? would that fall within this definition?
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>> i would say it would. because if you have identified ed, if ed is not a candidate. >> right. >> and someone makes an effort, expenditure or other method to support that person when they are not a candidate, it should -- i think the average layman would say that is an inducement to run. >> why are we setting ourselves up for that ambiguity? why do we need to define "support?" >> if i may, i don't know that we necessarily need to define "support," but the definition of the draft committee really is a committee that spends or raises funds of $1,000 or more. so if it is just somebody who urges someone to run without raising funds, no money is
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involved. >> right. >> that would not be a committee. >> right. agreed. but what if they are not "encouraging them to run?" i mean we're still trying to capture anyone who is spending money to support the election of someone who is not a declared candidate, regardless of whether they are saying hey, mr. thompson, we really want you to declares a candidate. versus saying vote for mr. thompson. he would be the best mayor for san francisco. >> so what you are saying, if i understand it, vote for mr. thompson, he will be the best person for san francisco? that is really getting him on the ballot? or getting him nominated or getting him certified for nomination where he has not taken action to become a candidate? >> right. we want that draft committee to be covered by this. >> right.
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i think as the executive director says, this law will cover that situation. >> okay. >> where you have an individual who has not declared as a candidate, who has not given permission for anybody to raise funds or spend monies on his or her behalf, who has not given permission to be on the ballot. this will cover those committees that raise funds or spend money or raise at least $1,000 to encourage that person to be the next mayor or the next member of the board of supervisors. >> i have got to say, i don't what ambiguity is being created by the definition of "support." because your example would seem to clearly be a case where someone was encouraging someone to run. >> but why? i mean if i just
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say vote for ed lee for mayor >> but you can't vote for him? >> sure you could, you could write him in. >> to be a write-in candidate and the city attorney can correct me, to be a write-in candidate, i think you have to have an approval prior to do that, right? >> yes effectively to take office at some point you will have to declare as a candidate. so even if someone starts digging in yard signs saying bob thompson for mayor, and for bob thompson to actually appear on the ballot and be elected at some point, mr. thompson would need to declare. while that is not necessarily spelled out on the yard sign. >> this is not actually if they can achieve the elected os. we're aiming at people who are
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spending money in support of a candidate, in september of someone who is not a candidate for elected office and we want to close that loophole. i don't see the advantage of lipting it to people who are encouraging or urging -- i mean why not just leave a1 as-is. i mean, i have another slight amendment to it. what are we worried about that required us to define what "support" means? >> i think that is a fair point. he think what you are generally saying is that if we define "support," or possibly excluding things in the definition. i think that is a very fair point. i would also just point out subsection 4 does allow the ethics commission to propose regulations and i think the reason that we put that in there, we know that to the extent there is any potential ambiguity or loophole, people will try to go there. that is just how things go. >> this whole issue came up
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because of a loophole, because someone found a leap hole. >> right. so i think to some extent the ethics commission has the ability to address leap hole lope holes. the only downside if we don't define "support" at all there will be the chance of zero gay and lesbian as of what "support means." >> if we had "support" i would define it as public action or statement or actions encouraging or urging -- i will concede that i'm hoping that my hypothetic is ridiculous and it would be
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interpreted in the way that we have all think it should be. >> you just built them their loophole. >> i was thinking that election makes it more restrictive. >> that was my reaction when you said that. >> the big problem we had last time, the committees kept saying we are not a campaign. we don't have a candidate. we can't be a campaign without a candidate. and the commission accepted that. but at the same time, they were raising money and spending money that had the effect of a
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campaign while not being regulated. >> could we solve it by having both in the definition? the one here and the one commissioner hur suggested? >> i wouldn't have a problem with that. >> in the sense that there are two holes in the dike and we need to plug them. [ laughter ] >> okay. my other comment on decision point 1 was do we want to limit it to public support? or is that too narrow? >> what provision are you looking at? >> i'm looking at a 1, shall mean my person, group of persons or entity that either receives contributions of
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$1,000 or more or makes expenditures of $1,000 in order to publicly support the election? >> you mean take the word "public" out of 2? the definition of "support?" >> i guess that would be redundant. >> i think there is some merit in thinking about taking the word "public" out of the definition of "support." because why would we allow people to take private -- spend money on private actions encouraging someone to run without reporting that? >> we don't want to be in the business of determining whether the expenditure from such an entity took place in a living room or a conference room (run . >> run for office and i will
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give you this $50,000. >> mr. st. croix you think it would meet the goals more effectively? i guess i don't understand why it matters where it is? >> i don't think it matters. >> do we need "public?" >> well if it were just a prohibition on support, that would -- i'm thinking outloud here -- that would be going
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too far because anybody can say to somebody else, i think you would make a good mayor, i hope you run. what makes it acceptable, is that it's the transfer of money behind that speech that allows us to get involved. does that sound, as i say it outloud, does it sound plausible? no. 2 doesn't stand alone as a prohibition. it's the formation of a committee to do this. and you could have a committee, if it had no money. the five of us got together and had a conversation with somebody, totally independent of our commissioner roles and no money changed hands that is also okay. i'm just sort of kicking the tires. >> that wouldn't stop friends
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of taking them out for dinner and saying here are the reasons to run. so we're not capturing that activity. >> what if it's a really nice dinner? >> and they got contributions from others towards? >> then we want to know. >> then we want to know about that. >> and the public wants to know about that. >> is that a public action? >> no. i don't think so. >> right. it would fall under a draft committee. that would be a draft committee. >> it just wouldn't support, -- publication support a candidate essentially? >> i think once you start collecting contributions, as a public action. so if they are at this private dinner and you start collecting contributions for a run at an elective office, i think it's a public action. or it could translate into this. because state law says once you raise $1,000 or more, you effectively become a committee.
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>> you just have to function in public. >> well, i do feel like the way this reads right now, that if i collected $1,000 from five friends, which i was told to use to try to convince somebody to run for elective office, and i spent that money by taking them out to -- entertaining them for an evening, that this would not be covered. that would not be covered about i this. i don't know if we're intending to know about that kind of of activity nort. but i don't think we're intending to cover that. . >> in that situation you are not spending money to convince the voters. >> true. >> so i think leaving out the word "public" is okay.
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>> okay. any other comments from commissioners on decision point 1? public comment? >> david pillpa. i'm trying to kind of work through this language, including the top of page 2, lines 1-4. sorry, it's giving me a headache. i would suggest a few points. on line 17 and 18, i would reword it slightly to say, "in order to support the qualification of an identifiable person for city elective office." because that presumes that that person has not yet qualified, and that the purpose of the endeavor is to have them be a qualified
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candidate. it's not to support the election of the that person. it's really more about getting them to be a qualified candidate and i'm actually thinking less about the draft someone over the summer or draft someone as a written that actually happened in 1999 in ammiano for mayor. i recall some of that, but try not to recall all of it this sec. you could have the same efforts that happened with "run he had run," and progress for all," in the context of a write-in campaign and i'm not sure under this definition it
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would get captured. that is why i'm hung up on qualification versus election. >> may i ask you a question about that? >> sure. >> it's not clear to me why that is materially different from what we have? >> well, again it's not necessarily the election of a person. that is not necessarily the goal of the committee or the committee would assert that is not their goal. it's to get them to run and, in fact you might have a committee whose goal is to get someone on the ballot, not to get them elected, but to get them on the ballot to drain votes away from someone else as to help someone else's chances of getting elected that the whole thing is a big trick. you know? we're all operating in good faith in this room, but there are others outside of this room that may not be or may or may not be watch this. >> what was the language?
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>> i think it makes it more parallel to no. 1 [#2*-/]. >> instead of the word "qualification," i would use "candidacy." >> i'm not sure if "candidacy" encompasses write-in or not? >> i don't like terminating the end of that sentence. >> presumably someone who has qualified -- that is the point i wanted to make more globally. the problem is the state law definition of "candidate." we can add this section in local
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law, which is fine and whatever version ends up tonight or thereafter will work for the moment. but i think we should urge the state legislature to include an appointed office-holder, because that was the route of this to begin with. >> that we definitely can't do tonight? >> no, it's not on the calendar, but something that we could contemplate in future and i would suspect there is support for that. >> do you have other comments about what we can do here and now? >> sorry. thank you for bringing me back. i agree that the language in lines 19 and 20 are somewhat problematic. i don't know that they work into line 16-18. i think they really only apply in subsection b. i mean it's difficult to read 16-18 and imports 19 and 20 in,
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that the "order to support" language. it just gets a little circular, but i do agree that support should include actions or statements whether public or non-public. that are trying to urge or encourage a particular outcome. i think that is the point of "support." and i'm also trying to think through if you have got a committee under state law that you have a primarily formed committee. i know. right. that this is creating a new animal only under scintilla, but is requiring that animal to file reports. all right, i will just keep thinking about it.
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if we haven't figured out the definitions we should try to get that right. it's dangerous to have a definition here that is complicated and interconnected and say that the commission may further adopt presto clarify this. i think we should get it right and not rely on having to go back later and define by regwhere we already have a definition that is intended to be comprehensive. >> because we so seldom try to do things right the first time? >> we should try. i'm being supportive. i will shut up for a while. >> i think commissioner studley is correct that the issue of the words "qualification," will make it more parallel to decision point 2.
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line 18. >> so we're going to say in order to support the qualification or election of an identifiable person, the city elective office who is not qualified as a candidate? >> yes. >> and are we going to add that parallel language to support as well? >> no. >> we don't think we need that. >> i think that is probably right. at that point it becomes redundant. i'm okay with that. >> could somebody just explain why? i thought that the change to no. 2 was your thoughts about write-ins? that sometimes the pathway through might be not to encourage or urge to declare as a candidate, but that a well-funded write-in
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effort would not be committee or campaign because there was not a candidate. >> you are addressing me? >> yes. i was trying to figure out that particular hypothetical? >> i think that the qualification and/or election takes care of that. i don't know that it matters whether you put it in line 16-18 or 19-20. you probably don't need it in both. i mean, i wonder whether you need the definition of "support" at all, if you have added "qualification," to line 16 through 18. i don't feel strongly about. mr. st. croix? i think mr.
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pillpa's point that if you read in what we defined as "support," into it and replace it, it starts to sound fairly redundant. >> well, if i might? i think where i'm having the most trouble now and we're into subsection b for a second. on line 7. that you can have a circumstance where a primarily formed committee perhaps is only filing semiannual reports and not pre-election reports, but in the instance where that primarily formed committee supports a candidate and using the language "support [o-eufpblts/] ," going to the definition here. i think you are trying to get in that instance a primarily
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formed committee. >> the reason leaving it in is not redundant, they are going to try to self-define, if they want to get around this provision. >> right. >> so i want them, if they say, we're not raising money to elect him or her, we're just raising money to encourage them. that is covered. we say we are not supporting their election. we are only supporting their candidacy. we might be absurd, but we have had absurd claims before. i don't want them to try to self-define their way out of these requirements. >> don't you review your definition of "support" as being all-inclusive? >> yes. >> that is why i tend to agree
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with the idea that we shouldn't eliminate the definition of "support." if we believe that that language is all-in[khrao-ups/]ive and it seems to be it is. >> i'm fining leaving it with it is provided the amendment in line 18 to support qualification or election of an identifiable person. does anybody have objection to that? is there a motion to adopt decision point 1 as amended? >> so moved. >> second. >> can you just clarify what would lines 19 and 20 read,

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